The increase in diesel, petrol and domestic cooking gas prices, after an interval of around four months, is a major concern of the farming community in Wayanad district.
Many farmers in the district, especially those cultivating short term crops such as ginger and plantain on rented land, use petrol or diesel pumps for irrigating the crops. The price of petrol rose from ₹105 .80 a litre to ₹106.68 and diesel to ₹93.74 a litre from ₹92.89 at Sulthan Bathery in the district on Tuesday.
The majority of farmers could not recoup even the input cost from the cultivation of short term crops in the past three years owing to the low prices of the produce in the market.
If the prices of petroleum products increased again in the coming days, the farmers would have to keep their land fallow, Wilson, a farmer in Pulpally, said.
The rent of tractors, power tillers and combine harvesters had also increased considerably, but a proportionate increase was not seen in the prices of farmers’ produce, Mr. Wilson said.
The recurring price hike of diesel and petrol would adversely affect the construction sector also as granite products, including pebbles and manufactured sand, are procured from granite quarries in Kozhikode and Kannur districts after the district administration banned the functioning of nearly 120 granite quarries in the district.
“Though we have not increased the transportation charges for the past two years, a further increase in the price of diesel will force us to increase the charges,” A. Santhosh, a truck owner at Meenangadi, said.